On This Day, October 10th

1. 1845: United States Naval Academy opens

Photo: wiki

Photo: wiki

It was on this date in 1845 that the Naval School opened in Annapolis, Maryland. Just five years later it would officially become the United States Naval Academy. There were only about 50 students and seven professors in the beginning, and they focused on subjects relative to the Navy such as navigation, gunnery, mathematics, steam, as well as some standard classes like English, French, and even natural philosophy. Today there are said to be over 500 people on the academic staff and more than 4,500 students attending the UNSA, also referred to as Annapolis.

2. 1991: Former U.S. Postal worker goes on murderous rampage

Photo: nj.com

Photo: nj.com

Photo: 100feed

Photo: 100feed

On this date in 1991, former postal worker Joseph Harris walked in and shot two former colleagues in the Ridgewood, New Jersey Post Office. To make matters worse, the night before he had gone to the home of his ex-supervisor Carol Ott and her fiance Cornelius Kasten, and murdered both of them. According to reports, he used a samurai sword to kill Ott and later told psychiatrists that the “ninja spirit” had driven him to commit these heinous crimes. Harris was arrested after a long four-hour standoff with police at the post office. He was convicted and sentenced to death row in 1992, where he remained until he died of natural causes in 1996

3. 1985: The hijacking of the Achille Lauro comes to an end

Photo: dailymail

Photo: dailymail

Photo: theaviationist

Photo: theaviationist

The terrifying saga of the Achille Lauro hijackings came to a dramatic end on this date in 1985 when U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcats intercepted the Boeing 737 airliner carrying Palestinian terrorists. Just four days earlier, heavily-armed men stormed the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro off the coast of Alexandria, Egypt. Luckily most of the passengers had disembarked to visit the Great Pyramids and Cairo, but still there were said to be at least 80 passengers and 320 crew members on board that was taken, hostage. Over the next few days, there were all kinds of negotiations back and forth. Finally, on October 9th the hijackers surrendered the hostages to the Egyptian authorities in exchange for a plane and safe passage. The net day they got on the EgyptAir Boeing 737 and took off from the Cairo Airport headed towards Tunisia. This is when Reagan approved the plan to intercept the massive plane. The two F-14’s forced the 737 to land at a NATO airbase in Sicily where authorities were waiting to arrest them. On July 10, 1986, the terrorists involved were sentenced to anywhere from 15-30 years in prison.